[Posted by Karl]
Weekends are the news graveyard, as anyone who has witnessed a Friday doc dump knows. Accordingly, I thought it would be useful to briefly round up some of the lesser-noted ObamaCare coverage folks may have missed over the past few days.
On Friday, James C. Capretta noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her “leadership aides” have claimed to reporters that they have gotten more favorable reviews of their updated bill from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), adding:
From a process standpoint, CBO should never allow members of Congress to characterize the findings of confidential cost estimates without consequences. Undoubtedly, CBO staff is told not to share its analysis with anyone until the bill is unveiled. But if House leaders decide to go public with CBO’s apparent bottom line, CBO really should be obligated to go public with the entire analysis to ensure no misunderstanding. Otherwise CBO’s findings can be distorted.
By Friday evening, the AP was reporting:
Democrats have touted an unreleased Congressional Budget Office estimate of $871 billion in recent days, a total that numerous officials acknowledge understates its true cost by $150 billion or more. That figure excludes several items designed to improve benefits for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and providers, as well as public health programs and more, they added.
About 36 moderate House Dems have warned that the House bill must bring down costs in the long term, while as many as 40 Dems may oppose bringing the bill to the floor over the subsidizing of abortion. Although the Blue Dogs are frequently threatened or bribed into submission, we should remember that Pelosi & Co. claimed they had the votes as far back as July, and we will be hearing a lot of Democratic gossip and propaganda about momentum while ObamaCare is cooked up in back rooms.
Speaking of which, the HuffPo continues to flog the Narrative that Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid is continuing to push for the “public option” without White House support. The latter is likely true, but whether the former is just for show remains an open question.
Also on the Senate front, the New York Times ran a piece on small businesses facing the steepest rise in insurance premiums they have seen in recent years. For those of you puzzled because the NYT rarely seems to care about the struggles of small business, note that key Sen. Mary Landrieu is very concerned about the problem. Whether ObamaCare is the solution is an issue I’ll be looking at in the not-too-distant future, but Prof. Tyler Cowen looks at how government mandates would make many people worse off.
On the executive branch front, Pres. Obama avoided talking about healthcare reform on his trip to Massachusetts. Bay Staters still like their flavor of reform, similar in most respects to the basic elements of ObamaCare — but costs have risen at double the national rate, and the inevitable rationing has yet to bite them. Pres. Obama was in Massachusetts to raise money for Gov. Deval Patrick, a/k/a David Axelrod’s beta version of Obama. The fundraiser was half-empty, as Obama acknowledged that Partick will be in a “tough race.” How tough? The most recent Suffolk University/7News poll shows only 29% think Patrick deserves to be re-elected.